Always make it worth your audience’s time

Know your target audience and deliver the right message at the right time.

Timing your delivery and content creation is critical to capturing your audience’s attention.

I gave a “TedX” style presentation at a conference a little while ago.  I was the fourth, and last, speaker of the group and the only one who didn’t do a 15 minute advertisement for my company or product.

Unsurprisingly, the previous 3 speakers were not received well, for a number of reasons:

  1. Two of them read their speech.  Really?  If this is the level of your competency then you either need to do more practice, get some training, or give the session to someone else in the company who can deliver the presentation more effectively.
  2. None of them had suitable slides.  I’m still amazed that some organisations don’t take advantage of a professionally designed presentation.  I know some of these people paid a lot of money for the opportunity to present at this conference and they turned up with a presentation that looked like a school project.  In an age of multimedia, how can anyone turn up at a professional conference with anything other than a professional presentation and try to convince buyers that the product they offer is a good one?
  3. It was all about them.  If you’ve ever seen a TedX presentation (and lets face it, you shouldn’t be giving one if you haven’t watched some) you would know that it’s not a sales pitch…it’s about sharing experiences and educating the audience. The other 3 decided to simply promote their own product.

This brings me to the point of this blog: ALWAYS give your audience value for their time.

Even if you are doing a sales presentation (as opposed to a TedX) you should include material that educates you audience. Its only fair, they have given you their time, you should give them something valuable in return.

Lee Featherby (@mrpresentations)

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